Former President Nixon’s White House attorney John Dean said Thursday he believes the Maine decision to remove former President Trump from the ballot will be difficult to overturn, calling it “very solid.”
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) determined late Thursday that Trump should be kept off the state’s primary ballot because his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots violated the 14th Amendment.
Dean denounced criticism by the Trump campaign, which called the decision “election interference.”
“There was ample due process in this proceeding, and they just lost by a straight, honest reading of the 14th Amendment,” Dean said in a CNN interview. “Trump’s in trouble.”
The 14th Amendment bars those who previously took oaths to support the Constitution and “have engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Bellows and a similar Colorado Supreme Court decision last week each found that Trump’s conduct falls under that definition.
Bellows said Trump “used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters” on Jan. 6 and “was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it.”
The Trump campaign pledged to appeal the Maine ruling, and the Supreme Court is expected to take up the Colorado case.
Dean said he doesn’t think the Supreme Court would go against either decision, citing a plain reading of the amendment’s text.
“I want to see those strict constructionists and originalists get around that language,” he said. “How are they going to do it? I don’t know. It looks so applicable. I don’t know what they can do with it other than take [Trump] off the ballot.”
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